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GE acquires Australian smart grid company

Australia: General Electric (GE) acquired Opal Software, an Australian smart grid company for its software—and for global positioning. The acquisition aims to mark a strong presence into Asia-Pacific Market.

GE’s Digital Energy sector will use the Opal’s software as part of its suite of smart grid solutions, delivering Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Systems (SCADA) and Distribution Management Systems (DMS) software to utilities. The technology that GE just scooped up by acquiring Opal allows for the seamless integration of all kinds of acronyms. SCADA systems and DMS can be connected into corporate IT systems, including Customer Information Systems (CIS), GIS and others. Simply put, for a smart grid to really be smart, all of these systems must effectively interact while still ensuring privacy and security. This is no surprise, as the technology giant has said it wants to focus on bringing more intelligence and networking to existing product categories.

But it’s not just the software that interested GE. Australia, and its homegrown companies, offers an ideal point from which to jump into the Asian market. “Opal Software’s products and project management services are integral to the delivery of GE Energy projects,” Matt McKenzie, General Manager in the Asia region for GE’s Digital Energy business, said in a statement.

“By bringing Opal Software’s proven technologies together with GE’s solution platforms, our teams will drive the next wave of software solutions. Opal Software will help secure GE as a smart grid technology leader and meet the needs of the fast-growing Asia Pacific region.”

Opal Software offers both data migration and simulation capabilities that allow for utilities to switch between multiple platforms, and can also be integrated with other GE software. Although Asia — and China, specifically — is surely the ultimate goal for GE, the company also has a range of customers in Europe and North America.

There are other Australian companies that could also be ripe for acquisition by larger corporations that are looking to secure their foothold in smart grid and energy efficiency markets. BuildingIQ, which uses weather information to enhance building management systems that are already in place, is a prime example.

Within Australia, EnergyAustralia is doing a USD 100 million Smart Grid, Smart City project that, if successful, could provide a roadmap for smart grid projects across the country.

Source: Greentech Media & GE